Officers and families pay tribute 6 years after 2 officers were killed in shootout in Minkler

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Today marks six years since Fresno County Sheriff's Deputy Joel Wahlenmaier and Reedley police officer Javier Bejar died in a shootout in Minkler. (KFSN)

Thursday marks six years since Fresno County Sheriff's Deputy Joel Wahlenmaier and Reedley police officer Javier Bejar died in a shootout in Minkler.

"There's a quote that says, 'a man remembered never dies.' And that's-- that's what I want. I want his memory to live on," said Daisy Bejar, officer Bejar's sister.

Six years after her brother was killed in the line of duty Daisy, along with dozens of officers from throughout the Central Valley, pay tribute to officer Bejar. "I don't want people to forget who he was or what he did. And by law enforcement being here, it really shows us that he hasn't been forgotten," said Daisy.

Bejar was a five-year veteran of the Reedley Police Force, combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, husband, brother, and son. Thursday morning's flag lowering ceremony honored Bejar's memory and sacrifice. "A part of us died that day with him," said Daisy.

"This is a dangerous job but it was not something that we expected, and that we were mentally and physically prepared to go through," said Chief Joe Garza, Reedley Police.

Bejar was killed in a shootout with an arson suspect in Minkler along with Fresno County Sheriff's Deputy Joel Wahlenmaier. "He had a long life ahead of him. A long career, a long prosperous career. There was a lot we were hoping for him," said Garza.

"It changed our lives," said Daisy.

Now a dispatcher for the city of Hanford and Reedley, Daisy is following in her brother's law enforcement footsteps. "I want to be able to help in anyway that I can to make sure that these guys come home at the end of the day. Because I know what it feels like for your loved one to not come home."

Flags will remain at half-staff until March 1st-- including the US Marine Corps flag to recognize Bejars time in service.

A memorial dedicated to officer Bejar, as well as deputy Wallenmeiher, sits along Highway 180.
Related Topics:
newsofficer killedshootingofficer involved shootingfresno countyMinkler
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